Vinnie Paul, best known as the former drummer, and co-founder, of the heavy metal band Pantera, has died, the group announced on social media.
The Texas-born musician, who was also a member of supergroup Hellyeah, passed away aged 54 on Friday evening, but no cause of death has been given at this time.
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Pantera released a short statement on their social media accounts, confirming Paul’s death and asking well-wishers to respect his family’s privacy.
Paul founded Pantera in 1981 with his brother, “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott, and went on to achieve immense success with the band. The group earned four Grammy nominations and a number one album in 1994 for their record Far Beyond Driven.
Pantera disbanded in 2003 amid speculation of a rift. At the time, Paul claimed the breakup was due to the band’s singer, Phil Anselmo, who wanted to leave the group.
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Following the split, Paul and his brother formed a new band, Damageplan, but on Dec. 8, 2004, Darrell was shot and killed onstage during a concert in Columbus, Ohio.
After his brother’s death, Paul was unsure whether he would continue with music, but in 2006 he joined heavy metal supergroup Hellyeah, which also includes Mudvayne vocalist Chad Gray and Nothingface guitarist Tom Maxwell.
Since the news of Paul’s death broke, artists from the rock and metal scene, and beyond, have paid tribute to the legendary drummer.
See more the tributes below: